Monthly Archives: August 2013

Sew Weekly Reunion with Simplicity 1612

IMG_2632I’m afraid my brain is not working at the moment so I apologise in advance if none of this makes sense. I meant to post this yesterday but a few things happened to completely throw me so I am behind on everything.  Nothing serious, and it turned out to be lots of fun but I am now feeling a bit frazzled.  Anyway, I completed a dress for the Sew Weekly Reunion:

I owe a lot to the Sew Weekly.  It was one of the first sewing blogs I discovered back in 2011 when I attempted to make my first dress.  It was also my introduction to the Sewing community. Before that I was happy to lurk on Burdastyle and a couple of other blogs I had discovered but the community on the Sew Weekly were so helpful and encouraging that I took what was a pretty big step for me at that time  and, shock horror, actually started communicating with people online. It didn’t take long before I was sewing along and I rapidly saw improvements. I was also encouraged, after talking to people on there, to set up the first short lived incarnation of this blog. So when I found out that the Sew weekly was having a reunion I immediately signed up.

The theme for this challenge was the Fall Pantone Colours.  Fortunately I already had stuff in my stash (of course, my stash is huge), and a pattern.  I got the fabric at the London Meet Up in April. Abakhan very generously donated loads of goodies and I got this mystery knit which happens to have four of the Pantone colours. I have no idea what it is as I can’t find it on their website but it is synthetic, soft, silky, possibly spandex with a lovely drape. I have no problem with synthetics for this kind of dress. I actually like the fact that it is fairly non-absorbent. It means that when made up as a dress I can chuck it over a soggy swimming costume to walk home from the beach and it doesn’t show embarrassing damp patches. Plus it dries in the sun in minutes.

The pattern was sent to me by Simplicity along with 1610, which I blogged here  and here. I had noticed a gap in my me-made wardrobe and when they offered me a pattern to try I mentioned to them that I needed maxi dresses.  They very generously sent me both patterns, plus the one I gave away here.  I immediately thought of this fabric for 1612 but l had a couple of other projects on the go and it got bumped down the queue.  However when this challenge was announced it was the perfect opportunity.

We took photos at Whitstable castle. There is a great little park there for the kids and the gardens have been awarded a Green Flag Award.  They do some cool stuff there in the evenings too. Tonight there is a Black Tie Open air music event, they also host Murder Mystery evenings and I am dying for details of the Hammer House of Horror weekend that will be taking place there next year to be released.  Unfortunately you can’t see much of the castle or gardens in these pictures, I had to resort to bribing the children to take them before releasing them into the park.  If you can see beyond my squinty alien death stare you can see some of the castle here:


And this one was taken in the gardens.  Look how cool the back is. The dress I mean, although the gardens are pretty nice as well. I do love a bit of back detail:

IMG_2611And here:

IMG_2596Ignore my attempt at pattern matching. As you can see it started okay at the top but the centre back seam is actually a bit curved, so that and the stretchiness meant that it is not matching all the way down. Oh well….

This one shows the front a bit better:

IMG_2605 Wavey Boobs! And another one of the back because I do love it:

IMG_2608And look, I have a spot on the back of my neck. And a weird curl. Another benefit of writing this blog.  People were probably staring at my spot all day and I would never have known. At least the spot is centred.  Studies suggest that attractive people are more symmetrical than us mere  mortals,  so my spot must just make me even more attractive  (humour me please…..)
Actually the twisty bit at the back of the dress looks a bit wonky in that one so here is another on my dress form showing what it should look like when it hasn’t been worn to chase small children around a park:


So there you go, my Pantone challenge dress.  And unlike most of my previous Sew weekly Challenges I managed to get it done early. So here are  The Facts:

Fabric:  Mystery synthetic knit from Abakhan. It feels really nice to wear and drapes well, perfect for this dress.  I forgot to measure it before I started but I think it was about three metres long, and it is pretty wide. I used all but a few scraps. However this is a directional print and I also made a feeble attempt at pattern matching, so you could probably get away with less.

Notions: Thread, a short length of half inch elastic sewn along the back.

Pantone Challenge colors: Emerald, Mykonos Blue, Linden Green(ish), Koi

Pattern: Simplicity 1612.  I made view C, maxi length with a twisty bit at the front and an open bit with a twisty bit at the back. Sorry I can’t be more technical but if you look at the pictures you’ll see what I mean.

Year:  2013

Time to complete:  4-ish hours, using my sewing  machine and overlocker/ serger. This is such a simple pattern to make, even with those twisty bits. It is perfect if you need a quick and easy project to get your Sew-jo back or as an introduction to knits. The only adjustments I made were to take an inch and a half out of the centre back seam. Looking at these pictures I think I may go back and take it in a bit more at the side seams.

First worn: Wednesday, taking the kids to the Whitstable castle park.

Wear again? Already have – I wore it today and it did everything I wanted it to. Perfect for pulling over my swimsuit and helping my children collect dead crabs on the beach (what a crazy rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle I lead). I love it and can see myself making more, especially as it is such a quick make.

Total Cost: Nothing. Zilch. Zero. Result!

And because at the moment I only seem to get a chance to photograph my makes after I have been running around in them all day, here are a couple more on my dress form before it got worn:

PicMonkey CollageAnyway, there are loads of us participating in the Sew Weekly reunion, so to see what everyone else has come up with make sure you check out the site, and the flickr group.


Camping by mistake, and some plans…

IMG_2554I survived camping again!

I posted about my last camping experience here.  It wasn’t all bad. I got to go to the Brighton meet up and hang out with some really cool people – Claire, Zora, Rehanon, Stevie, Zoe and Jo.  That made the previous miserable night freezing under canvas unable to sleep totally worth it.  This time though we took it to new extremes of discomfort.

I don’t know what has happened because I haven’t always felt like this.  I used to love camping. I went at every opportunity and had no problem even wild camping miles from any facilities. I adored nights round the fire or listening to the rain.  And I still want to love it but my tolerance must have decreased in old age. Recently I have not been able to get into it. Okay, that is an understatement. These last few trips have had moments of hellishness. However, the rest of my family love it.  You do stuff for your kids that you would normally pay to avoid so I agreed to give it another go.

Look at them all having fun in the woods. How could I deprive them?


This time though I was going to learn from previous mistakes. I bought an air bed despite my husband laughing and calling me a Glamper. I also invested in a sleeping bag that will withstand arctic temperatures. I did a proper shop to stock up on firelighters, beer, cider, cans of gin and tonic, downloaded a couple of new books onto my Kindle. I figured I was fully prepared for a few  nights without internet, wireless or phone signals.

Unfortunately I did not buy scuba diving gear.

It was an amateur mistake really. Everyone knows that it rains on the English August bank Holiday. It is as much a tradition as Afternoon Tea, St George (who, incidentally, was probably from Syria), the Changing of the Guard… I did actually expect rain. I packed wellies for all of us, except my husband who is way too cool and would rather wear damp trainers. I did not expect the kind of rain  that within twenty minutes collapses your tarpaulin, floods your tent and most importantly drowns your fire. You can cope with most camping catastrophes if you have a fire. If you have a fire you can warm yourselves, make a cup of tea, survey the disaster and ho hum about how it could be worse. No fire means no cup of tea, and strangely alcohol just didn’t have the same effect.

Well we lasted two days and I am proud to say that it was not my decision to return early. Despite being soaked through to my underwear I kept smiling (through gritted teeth) and let the rest of them make the decision to pack up and come home.

P1190405This was taken before the heavens opened.

Now we’re back, I’ve had a couple of days to recover and I need to sew. I still have to start my Sew Weekly Reunion project.  I am trying to convince myself that it is keeping to the true spirit of what it meant by only giving myself a week to complete it. This fabric from my stash has Emerald, Mykonos Blue, Linden Green, Turbulence and Koi, or close enough, although they haven’t reproduced that well here:


After reading Lladybirds very inspiring post on how she manages to be so productive I have decided the next thing I need to do is tackle the rest of my UFOs – here is a small sample:IMG_2564

Then if I have time I want to do something for Rochelle and Tasha’s Fall for Cotton Sewalong, I’m thinking maybe this skirt and top would work with the cotton in my stash:

IMG_2569I also need to catch up with my blog reading – I have 214 unread posts on BlogLovin at the moment. Now if somebody would just find a way to stop time while I get a few of these things done I would be very grateful.

Duck! My Hawthorn crop top refashion – perfect for relaxing on the M25.


You know you are obsessed when you start planning things to make for specific activities.
Look – ducks!   Perfect for the Taracat Family Annual Shooting Competition.  Not that we shoot ducks. Or anything feathered or furry,  just clays.  I have had mixed reactions when I tell people I like shooting.  People have strong feelings about guns, which they should, but clay pigeon shooting is a sport in the same way that archery or golf are sports. Actually I think golf can be way more dangerous. I have lost close family members to golf.  They used to enjoy coming round,  spending time,  were able to hold intelligent conversations.  Then they tried golf and all of a sudden they had no time for their old friends or family, it took up all their money,  they were constantly thinking about their next fix….
(And before you say it sewing is nothing like that. )

Anyway at the risk of sounding like a psycho I find shooting relaxing, and very rarely picture the faces of my enemies as I squeeze the trigger. And despite only getting to practice when I go home to my parent’s place I am also the unbeaten champion in my family.  So obviously I needed a new top in which to celebrate my certain victory.

Some of you may recognise this fabric. It is the same stuff I used for my Simplicity 2444 bodice and Peony skirt frankenpattern,  blogged about here.

P1200552 Now when I say I used the same fabric, I mean exactly the same fabric.  The Stashbusting UFO and Refashioning challenge that I mentioned in my last post has really made me think about what I wear and what just sits in the wardrobe neglected. This dress was definitely in the latter category.  I have worn it out once and even though I love the fabric the gaping neck and slightly uneven hem bugged me so much that I never wore it again.  I could have tried to fix it but that would mean raising the hem to a length I don’t wear.  With my fabric buying ban in place I need to get ruthless so I decided to resort to something a little more drastic.  Does it count as refashioning if you just totally ignore what it used to be and just chop it up to use the fabric for something completely different?

I didn’t have enough fabric for the peplum top but inspired by the crop top tutorial on the Colette blog I cut out the main Hawthorn bodice pieces from the skirt and the little bits from the dress bodice and some scraps that I’d had the forethought to save when I made the dress. I lengthened it by an inch or so. After two children my crop top wearing days are over. I also added a wide waistband and extended it to make two ties that are long enough to wrap around and tie at the back or the front. I figured this would also give me a little more coverage. I added buttons from a local charity shop, fifty pence for four. IMG_2535Unfortunately despite my best efforts this top still reveals a little more flesh than I wanted.  It looked fine on the dress form:


and it’s okay when I’m sitting down:

IMG_2499Standing up, however, and it does this at the back:


And this at the front:IMG_2506I can kind of hide my muffin tops by hoiking up my jeans and not breathing

IMG_2514Or strategically holding the bow in place

IMG_2523But any kind of movement and it climbs up to show off my stretch marks.  I know why. When I lengthened it I should have also made it gradually wider to accommodate my hips. As it is it is not wide enough so rolls or scrunches up and sits on top of them.  In addition I only had four buttons and was hoping that would do but I also need to add a popper/ press stud at the bottom.

Despite all this I will definitely wear this top. I love the style and the fabric and it looks pretty good over a longer vest top.  It is definitely as keeper, which is more than I could say for the dress.  And now I have figured out what I need to change I do plan on making another.  I guess that means it’s a success.

Anyway, enough about the top. How did I do with the shooting?  And where are all the action shots in the woods pretending to be Elmer Fudd?

It didn’t happen. You could say that pride comes before a fall. After all the effort making this top and talking about how I was going to whoop everyone’s arses we then got stuck on the M25 for three hours on the way there and totally missed the shooting. We did make it in time for a fabulous family dinner and then headed to the village pub for a couple of pints, so it could have been worse.  I was annoyed at first but there was nothing we could do about it so no point in getting stressed.  On the positive side it did motivate me to make something new out of something I had given up on. And I also get to hold on to my unbeaten status, in my own head at least.

Stashbusting UFO Challenge – the Lisette Passport dress, and a Bison

IMG_2433When it was announced that the theme for EmSewCrazy and Cation’s August’s Stashbusting Challenge was to be UFOs and refashioning it couldn’t have come at a better time. I have had to put all fabric buying on hold. I was going to say that it is because ethically it is not good to be buying stuff that I don’t really need, especially when my stash now takes up six boxes and a big plastic container under the bed.  This is true. I was very inspired by Zoe’s post on the importance of stash busting and refashioning a couple of months ago and I have really started thinking about my consumption habits, but I’ll admit that despite having worthy intentions the main thing that has stopped me giving into temptation and buying more is that I am skint.  A load of bills have come in in the last month or so and I need to cut back.

Anyway, having bugger all money for fabric has actually made me think a little more creatively, focus on what I do have in my stash and along with this challenge it has also given me the excuse I needed to trawl through my UFOs.

I have far too many unfinished projects.  I’m afraid I’m not much good at working on one thing at a time and I have UFOs going back to when I first started making clothes.  The thing that first got me sewing regularly was doing the Sew Weekly.  Incidentally there is a Sew Weekly Reunion going on at the moment and I am totally taking part.  Not only was the Sew weekly my first introduction to the sewing community but it was brilliant for motivating me to just sew, regardless, and I improved dramatically.  However there were some weeks when I just didn’t finish what I’d started. And then the next week’s theme would come out, and I’d want to make something for that instead so I ended up with a lot of stuff unfinished.  This dress, the Simplicity Lisette Passport dress, was one of them.

It seemed like everyone was making this dress at the time and most people said it was pretty easy so I though I’d give it a shot.  Unfortunately back then I knew nothing about fitting and would just pick my size off the back of the pattern, sew it up and hope for the best. I have no idea what size I made here. It fitted fine from the waist down but the top half was a baggy mess. I had obviously made it according to my bust size and not my upper bust, because that area gaped loads and the back was way too big. You’ll have to take my word on how bad it was because I forgot to take pictures, but my best description of how it looked would be this:

IMG_2444It was a shame because I love the fabric and the style.  It is quite hard to see with this print but the darts make a nice V shape at the front.  It reminds me a bit of Colette’s Hazel (which has been on my wish list for ages, in case Father Christmas or the birthday fairy is reading).

I decided it could be saved even if it was a bodge job. Luckily the zip is at the side. An early attempt at a lapped zip, it is a bit messy but not too obvious.  I took a wedge of about three inches out of the back, which kind of hoiked the front round a bit and removed some of the gaping.  I would have liked to put in a couple of darts at the front neckline to get rid of the rest but unfortunately I had already put in the facing and top-stitched with tiny tight little stitches and there was no way I was unpicking it. I did a narrow machine hem as it was quite short already and it was ready to go.

I tested it out at Wildwood, our local British Wildlife park. I have mixed feelings about animals in captivity but they do a lot of conservation work and breeding programmes and are working on reintroducing lots of rare and endangered species into the wild.  We live just up the road so it was worth getting membership as it includes free entry.  They also have an excellent adventure playground and a drop slide that is not for the weak of bowel.

IMG_2438Can you believe this was taken by the three year old using my iphone?

IMG_2464And the back. Still a bit baggy, but wearable. I had no idea about pattern matching back then. I do now, but still mostly manage to avoid it, bad sewist…

IMG_2434Konik horses. These are about as close as you’ll get to the wild horses that used to live in this country.  Herds are now being brought in to graze the wetlands of Kent, which helps boost biodiversity.

IMG_2424Me again. The hem is straight in real life, I promise.

IMG_2447A bison.

IMG_2474Here you can see the V shape that the darts make. You can also see my many chins.

IMG_2453The obligatory ‘deers with human faces’ picture.

IMG_2487A quick pint and a little too much thigh while I assess the performance of my finished off UFO.  The skirt is not that short,  it’s just the way I’m sitting.

So how did the dress stand up to a day of hanging about with animals?  It is comfortable, the print makes me feel happy and it is really easy to wear.  I would like it more if it had pockets, but I like it a lot anyway and I think it will get a lot of use.   I’m really glad I rescued it from my UFO box, and now I have the experience to see what I did wrong I may even attempt this pattern again.

Dark Rose Anna – the difficult little sister.

P1210980I’m sorry but I loved my last Anna so much that I had to cut another one out straight away.  Those By Hand London patterns are seriously addictive. My first attempt was a dream to sew and came together really quickly. However, Anna number two was not quite as cooperative.

It was my fault entirely. I have had this rose print batik in my stash for ages. It originally came from  Fabric Inspirations.  I can’t find it on their website any more although I must admit I didn’t spend too much time looking because I am on another fabric buying ban and it was too tempting.

IMG_2387Oh look, I didn’t notice those cat hairs before. They show up even though the rest of the picture is out of focus. Bloody cats, they’re lucky I love them. Am I the only person whose animals would rather sleep on a sewing project covered in pins than virtually anywhere else?

Anyway I had this idea that it would be perfect for Anna, completely ignoring the fact that it is quite a stiff cotton, very different to the last fabric I used with not much drape.  And there, I think, lies the problem.  It is amazing how changing the fabric you use can completely bugger up the fit.  With this one I have read somewhere that it should soften up with a few washes, but despite pre-washing it did not behave the way it needed to.  While the only adjustment with my last Anna was to take an inch or so out of the centre back, with this version when I put it on the V neck stuck out, away from my body like a pelican’s bill.

Not a good look.  I think on my previous dress the fabric was that bit softer and drapier so it clung to my body while this, well it just stuck out weirdly. I tried to fix it with a couple of darts at the top of the neckline, which helped a bit but not enough. At this point I had a tantrum, put it in my UFO’s drawer and did some housework.  And I can promise you that things have got desperate when I choose housework over sewing.

I obviously disturbed the Gods by doing something as heinous as wasting valuable sewing time, however, because for the last couple of days my oldest daughter has been ill. Nothing serious, but not very pleasant.  Once I had resigned myself to the fact that I was stuck in the house all day clearing up child vomit, and torn myself away from watching kids TV with her (I had no idea how addictive kids TV is these days. If you fancy killing a few hours and have no shame about watching things aimed at pre-teens, which I clearly don’t, then I can recommend The Sarah Jane Adventures, Young Dracula, Wolfblood….) I decided I had to tackle the dress again.

This time I was not messing about. I pinched about two inches out of the V at the front, which has also raised the neckline but that’s not such a bad thing, basted it to check, it looked okay so I hacked it off and stitched it up. Job done. Of course this means that it looks a right mess on the inside. The facings are all over the place and I just kind of hacked and stitched until they lay flat then top stitched the neckline to keep everything in place. Not very professional but it did the job.  And when I tried her on I fell back in love.  This dress makes me feel like I have grown six inches and lost half a stone:

P1210975I think that now I have wrestled the fabric into submission the fit is pretty good. There are still a few wrinkles that I would rather not have, but without them I probably wouldn’t be able to breathe. One of the things I love about my other Anna is how it looks elegant while still being comfortable. This one is too, and once again I managed without a zip.  I love how it looks in this print, and while the cotton is stiffer than my last Anna it is still quite swooshy. Which is good, because more than anything this dress makes me want to do Flamenco dancing:

P1210984P1210994P1210993P1210992P1210983No, I cannot Flamenco dance. Can you tell?
No, I have never been to Spain. Although I do like Tapas.
Yes, I have perfected the art of making my boobs swing in completely different directions to the rest of my body. I need to get me some titty tassles.
Yes, I have obviously been stuck in the house too long.
Yes, I have successfully appeased the Sewing Gods, and my daughter is feeling much better.
And yes, I have already picked out the fabric for my next Anna. What can I say, I have an addictive personality…

Whoosh! Bang! Pretty Colours! The return of Simplicity 1610.

IMG_2374 bI do love a freebie, as long as it is from someone that I would be happy to recommend anyway. So when Minerva Crafts contacted me to see if I would like some fabric and everything else needed to make a dress I almost bit their arms off. I’m sure by now a lot of you will have heard about them because of their new bloggers network, which I am really excited about. Personally I have bought from them quite a few times- the dress fabric I used for my Nautical cambie came from their remnants section (which, by the way, is absolutely huge these days, so check it out if you are looking for a bargain,) and I used their stretch bias binding for my Lace Tiramisu.

I almost asked for the peacock print that Roisin used to make her gorgeous Mrs Peacock dress, but then this print caught my eye. Stretch cotton with 7% Spandex and little splats of colour.  Well we all know how I like a print that won’t show stains.  I decided it would make a perfect Simplicity 2444, the version with the collar and no sleeves, as I already had that pattern and wanted to make something I had already sussed out the fit for.

Unfortunately when the fabric arrived I could not find my Simplicity 2444 anywhere. I was impatient to get started so I decided to go for plan B.  Simplicity 1610.  Last time I made the halter neck maxi version and it was pretty straightforward. This time I decided to make the knee length version with little pleated sleeves and pockets.

PicMonkey CollageIt looks a bit rumpled here, I took pictures after I had been wearing the dress all evening, but you can see the gorgeous little pleats. Unfortunately seeing these pictures I realise I didn’t get them lined up properly, but I didn’t notice in real life so I can live with it. Actually I had a bit of a love hate relationship with these sleeves. I love how they look. I hated attaching them to the bodice. There is a corner, for God’s sake, that you have to lift the presser foot and pivot round then either snip (I figured this out after my fourth attempt) or try and manouevre round, over loads of bunched up fabric without getting puckers. As I said, it took me four attempts and much swearing.  Despite that the fabric was an absolute dream to sew with. I thought the stretch might complicate things but being mainly cotton it did everything I wanted it to, apart from that bloody sleeve insertion, and that wasn’t because of the fabric.  And I cut a size 12 going from an 8 at the shoulders but I took a lot in so I could probably have got away with an 8 going into a 10.

So how does she look?  I started off with photos in the house with the self timer as Mr T can be a contrary sod and I couldn’t be sure I’d be able to persuade him to take any decent photos.

P1210906I think the under bust wrinkle is just because I wasn’t standing up straight. I have terrible posture. I probably should have done a narrow shoulder adjustment to prevent that slight gaping at the front but I’d already cut this out by the time I discovered them.

P1210931Yes, I should have Ironed the hem but I was in a rush to get photos done before we went out.

P1210923The back view, with the adorable V back. I do love a bit of back detail. And once again I managed to wriggle into and out of it without a zip. I don’t know if I am abnormally bendy, or it’s my narrow shoulders and back that help but I always baste up the back of my dresses before adding a zip just to see if I need one, and it is amazing how often I don’t. And I’m afraid I didn’t even attempt pattern matching with this random splattery print. Life’s too short…

P1210940Did I mention that we were on our way down to the beach to see the Grotter lighting and fireworks that mark the end of the Oyster Festival? So this is my attempt at being a firework.

P1210938And another go…..

P1210925Okay, give it up. Time to go.

As predicted, the photos out in the wild do not show the dress off to its full potential. This was taken in the Royal Naval Reserve, where we stopped for a couple of pints before the fireworks started. As a result we missed the Grotters. Oh well, there’s always next year…

IMG_2338I’m not sure who was making the least effort, me or the photographer?

IMG_2346Whoosh! Bang! Little explosions of colour! And that’s just my dress.

IMG_2350Here you can see some fireworks without most of them being obscured by my great big face.

IMG_2340We finished up in the Duke of Cumberland listening to Nagasaki 3, (highly recommended if you get a chance to see them) then back to the beach to sit round the bonfire, drink beer and watch people running into the sea in their pants.  Perfect.

Starry Anna vs The Prince of Darkness

I really was going to wait until I got paid before buying anything sewing related. However that plan went completely tits up when I started seeing  By Hand London Anna dresses popping up all over the place. First Kim-ing’s, here and here.  Then Jane’s, Karen’s, Emmie’s, Alice’s,  Kathryn’s ….all gorgeous, all pushing me closer to pressing that order button.

It was Lizzy’s trio, Anna Rose, Anna Blue and especially Jungle Anna that finally broke my resolve and had me reaching for my credit card and by Tuesday afternoon I was holding the pattern in my grubby little hand.

I made the maxi length version with the thigh split and the V neck.  This was such a quick make despite there being a lot of pieces- seven just for the skirt! I started cutting it out at ten o’clock on Wednesday morning. By two it was all done except for the hemming. No issues, cock ups or problems. In fact the main hindrance to my progress was this:

IMG_2243Little G did not want me to sew.

I was helped massively by Karen’s post on constructing the Anna dress. Loads of useful tips about what kind of fabric and how much, as well as advice about the length and the width of the back. If I hadn’t read her post I wouldn’t have picked this fabric, a midnight blue cotton with tiny white stars that has been in my stash for ever, because I only had three metres. As it happened it was just enough, despite being less than 60 inches wide. I think it helped that I cut the skirt pieces at least a foot shorter than the pattern as I am only 5 foot 2.  I didn’t bother with any hand stitching, even on the thigh split, as this was meant to be wearable muslin and I wanted to wear it that evening so needed it quickly. Instead I folded the edge, stitched it then folded it again and top?/edge? stitched it:

PicMonkey CollageIt could have been neater but the stitching hardly shows in real life.

As far as fitting goes, as well as taking loads off the length I took the back in by about an inch and a half the way that Karen describes in her post. And that was it. To my delight I found after basting in my zip that I could actually get the dress on and off over my head without using it, so I took out the zip and sewed up the back.

I finished hemming the dress just in time to go out last night. I met Mr T down the pub. His first comment: Nice dress. You look like a wizard.

We grabbed some beers and walked along the beach to Tankerton Slopes to watch the open air screening of Dracula as part of the Whitstable Oyster Festival, starring Whitstable resident Peter Cushing as Van Helsing. I am seriously considering changing my name to Van Helsing, how cool would that be at work? I did manage to persuade the husband to take photos on the way there.

IMG_2260He is still not as good as my daughter but she’s on holiday with her grandparents so I had to make do.

IMG_2263The neck is only gaping because my bag is pulling it, it is fine in real life.


IMG_2268Showing a bit of leg. I did lower the split so i wasn’t showing too much – I was very aware that I didn’t want to be flashing fanjo,  but as soon as I sat down on the grass to watch the film the stitches ripped to where it should have been originally, so Anna clearly thought I needed to flash more thigh.


IMG_2282Waiting for the film to start.

IMG_2278IMG_2285I love Hammer Horror. It was great sitting outside by the sea watching a classic film as the sun went down with a few drinks and good company.  Once again I really  appreciated the fact that I live here.   Afterwards we decided to have a couple in the pub before walking back along the beach. Which is where it all started to go a bit wrong.

IMG_2290A bit of a dance…..

IMG_2294 - CopyYes, these are out of focus, but by this point in the evening so was I.


IMG_2301Scarey vampire moves…

IMG_2297Well no one can accuse me of not road testing my makes properly….

There are so many things I love about this dress. It is quick to make.  It is comfortable but doesn’t look it.  It makes me look like a wizard, meaning I can make all sorts of inappropriate comments about wizard’s sleeves.  It copes with sitting on grass, beer spillages, dancing, climbing, minor falls, vampire antics, menacing seagulls and blood stains hardly show.  As I said before this is a wearable muslin. I have the perfect fabric for my next one. Only problem, it’s silk (cue terrifying  vampire like scream….)